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Open Mike 08/02/2017

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, February 8th, 2017 - 94 comments
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94 comments on “Open Mike 08/02/2017 ”

    • Carolyn_nth 1.2

      Wage and salary earners saw an on average $10 per week increase between Decembers 2015 and 2016.

      This tells us nothing about the situation for those on the lowest incomes, especially the bottom 10-20%. An average increase could all be accounted for rises in incomes of the highest paid.

      Average house prices in the City of Sails topped $1 million in 2016, while rent increases outpaced income growth.

      My bold indicates the most worrying data.

    • Cinny 1.3

      Yes poverty is a huge problem in NZ for many people.

      Personally I’ve not much time for the Sallies, they are well known in Motueka for throwing away thousands of good quality items in their skip.

      We have a couple of charity shops here, Red Cross has a free rack outside their store, free clothes and other bits and pieces, rather than dumping it in a skip.

      Meanwhile the Motueka Salvation Army store offers free coat hangers and magazines, that’s it, the clothes that they don’t want, shoes, toys etc they would rather throw them in the skip than offer items free to the poor. This has been happening for years, and is disgusting. Items that they place in their store but don’t sell, they throw into their skip.

      Many locals boycott the Sallies here for the reasons above.

      To any whom run charity stores, if you really want to do something to help people in poverty who are often too embarrassed to ask for help, put up a ‘free’ rack of clothes outside, not clothes hangers and magazines, that won’t keep people warm.

      • Bill 1.3.1

        There has been a huge shift in NZ involving what were formerly ‘Op Shops’ becoming ‘alternative retailers’. I’ve a friend did her dissertation on the phenomenon – not good.

        And yes, it means that stuff gets skipped (much of it fine) and it also means that prices rise.

        • Siobhan

          As a book dealer my advice is…do not bother donating old books to the op shops, unless you regularly see collectible old books on their shelves, as for the most part you might as well dump them in the skip yourself.
          Certain large op shop organisations are throwing away absolute treasures, that do not even make it to the shelves, as they have strange ideas about things being ‘old’. Danielle Steele books…excellent…150 year old ‘Origin of the Species’…rubbish.
          We have had repeated ‘discussions’ with head office, and have offered to buy certain old books that are being thrown straight into the bin, but no, they would rather throw money away. In fact, they INSIST on throwing these books away. They do not even want us to tell them which books are valuable!!

          And then, even odder, complain about the cost of disposing of ‘rubbish’.

          Its inexplicable and a tragedy when you think of the heirlooms being handed over in good faith. Let alone the money lost.

          Why they do not hire some old ‘dealers’, and there must be enough of them out there, to sort this situation out is inexplicable.

          As an organisation they do good work in highlighting poverty…but they have some very odd ideas, and not just about old books.

          • saveNZ

            Shocking! (the dumping of books).

            I think Charities dump art too a lot of the time.

            Saying that publishers pulp something like 30% of the books they publish.

            Then they wonder why Amazon is so popular.

            Sounds like an opportunity for someone to provide a service to take away people’s old books and re sell them to people who will appreciate them!

            The clothing bins are also a scam apparently – most of the proceeds go to private enterprise with a small amount going to charity I have heard.

      • BM 1.3.2

        Lots of people shop at the dump these days.

        Amazing what people throw out, lots of bargains to be had for the budget conscious shopper.

        • Ant

          Too true.

          Over several years I bought knives at a re-use store at 50 cents each, – amongst them quality blades (Santoku, Sheffield, Victorinox, Atlantic Chef, Solingen) in great condition and collectively worth hundreds of dollars.

          • BM

            Yep, I just built a sunroom over the top of our deck, at some point we’re going to cover the decking with cementBoard and tile but in the meantime, I just wanted to paint the decking to tidy it up a bit.
            Went down to the dump, 4 litre tin of timbacryl in dark grey $10, normally $100 at Bunnings.

      • aerobubble 1.3.3

        Property empty most of the time is owned by ‘charity’ exempt from tax organizations. As church going decline the properties wont be sold as they are part of large portfolios that keep other properties rented out for more. Given how low dense Nz is, foot traffic being so important to business, is kept higher retail rents but lower foot traffic. And then dont get me started about new builds, putting up one floor homes on corner sites, its just crazy econmics, higher fott traffic would suggest highe buildings with shops. But retail like property is stuffed in NZ, lots of rent seeking behavior holding NZ back.

  1. Jenny 2

    It will require legislation, it will require regulation

    It will require leadership

    “Plastic to outweigh fish in oceans by 2050, study warns”

    January 19, 2016 by David Williams:

    At least eight million tonnes of plastics find their way into the ocean every year—equal to one garbage truckful every minute, said the report by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, which included analysis by the McKinsey Centre for Business and Environment.
    “If no action is taken, this is expected to increase to two per minute by 2030 and four per minute by 2050,” it said, with packaging estimated to represent the largest share of the pollution.

    Hands up, all those who think that individual action could have saved this poor creature’s life?

    “Dead whale’s stomach clogged with plastic”

    “The haul of plastic, which also included sweet wrappers and plastic bread bags, had blocked the Cuvier’s beaked whale’s digestive system, according to experts from the University of Bergen who found no traces of food.”

    Would it be too much to ask for a 50 cents recycling fee for each plastic container and each piece of plastic packaging, to properly kick start a recycling industry with hundreds of jobs?

    I am old enough to remember when Muldoon under lobbying from the packaging industry got rid of the refunds for used glass bottles. After which the the country (and the world) was flooded with a huge increase in plastic packaging.

    Why can’t we bring back this useful idea?

    I know that in the modern neo-liberal regime that we are not allowed to put any constraints on the free market.

    But just once, couldn’t we make an exception?

    • saveNZ 2.1

      Saw that article. Very sad. Good idea, I’d like to bring back glass milk bottles if we could.

      Also force biodegradable plastic or packaging by making those without it, pay for the recycling.

  2. Carolyn_nth 3

    Continuing a topic from Daily review last night.

    I questioned some LP members on what the LP is doing for west and south Aucklanders and urban Māori. Some said Willie Jackson understood west and South Aucklanders and urban Māori.

    Today onne blogger and social media commentator has questioned whether Jackson really does understand, or will do anything much for urban Maori.

    Ellipster tweeted:

    Also think ppl need to be careful (me included) about saying X represents Y. e.g. “WJ represents urban Māori” or “urban Māori left behind”

    WJ represents an “authority” that provides services to urban Māori. He does not politically represent our diverse views.

    Urban Māori are also not “all left behind”, ie suffering hardship. Many of our kaupapa whānau are but not all. So not a good metric since…

    The largest Māori pop is Auckland, which is home to many in professionals sector. Also read @teataotu journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/00…

    ie she’s saying Māori are a diverse group, and we should beware of assuming they are all the same. And has since tweeted she is thinking of putting her thoughts on this into a post.

    • Sacha 3.1

      Carrie is also a strong Maori Party supporter, it should be noted.

      • Carolyn_nth 3.1.1

        Yes. But it’s also useful to read diverse Māori views on the Jackson issue; which partly about political party positioning.

    • aerobubble 3.2

      Trump exaggerates, yeah lies, yet gets votes. So you have to ask yourself why. Some form of cut through obviously. Now contrast how a labour MP deals with Jackson on morning tv1. Boring, uncontroversial, weak defensive. Key called the whole opposition a bunch of rapist supporters while welcoming rapist thrownout of Oz.
      Now the fact that Labour still play like wet squid while nasty nats slag them is sure principled, its also stupid, since a politician should know how both not to sledge while suggesting it and also enlightening us about their position. Labour refuses to ditch neo-lib edicts, unlike Trump who expresses himself woefully yet still kicks neolibs.

      This is why the left fails, and yes needs less saints like Jackson in its ranks. We want you to fight our corner, less so the oh your high principles that keep us from gaining a gist of your thinking, heart, soul, etc.

      When the banker Key trades and becime successful, the idea the Labour would not hold him accoutable for shitty rivers, poor roads, faulting drugs, by actually question his credentials as a master of the economy, says something deep about the Labour out of touchness.

      Clinton smiliarly married to the President who famous slogan, its the economy stupid, could not consider the impact that fuelled Sanders supporters.

      The left have for too long conceeded, become weakened, by their inane strategy of not attacking the econmics of stupid that is Thacherism. Or as we know here in NZ rogernomics.

      Labour have to soul search, Clark won when neolibs were untested, now hey are found unwanted and flawed, so where is Labour. You can be principled, anti neolib, and strong on the economy. We are all free traders, we all want fewer ticket clippers, so wht does Labour accept that being anti tppa means being anti free trade!

    • saveNZ 3.3

      Some of my Whanau are urban Maori and they have benefited the most from working for families.

      Politics are completely outside their lives. I doubt they have even heard of Willy Jackson or be on the Maori roll and he will not influence them in any way to vote.

      They are on one income, 2 kids, work a 6 day week and get only $650 (in Auckland that is nothing) but working for families top them up approx $200.

      Working for families has been the biggest policy to help them.

      Personally think Labour or Mana will do the most for them with policies that target them. Or someone like Sue Bradford that understands they need help, just to navigate to get the help. WINZ are a waste of time for them and their attitude just puts them off going to them.

      State housing would also help them. But they work in an expensive area of Auckland. I don’t think there are any state houses there not sold off. That is also one of the disasters for the poor that State houses used to be everywhere and so there was a cross section of the community in each area. Not rich ghettos like we are getting.

      On minimum wages a mortgage of $300,000 is max, so essentially the so called affordable houses of $500,000 or $600,000 being built to replace the state houses are out of their reach.

      In my parents day, the state actually built houses on mass to sell to families. But with immigration at the levels they are not only are there not enough rentals or houses but how could you afford to build enough for the amount of people needing them and coming in?

      The Maori party has let urban Maori down by collaborating with National and making their lives worse by their appalling policies against the poor.

      I’m not a fan of Willy Jackson, and think he’s going to put off more voters than he attracts. In particular putting off women and anyone against Charter schools.

      Labour already have Nash, with pretty extreme views.

  3. Sacha 4

    “The Green and Labour Parties’ State of the Nation event showed that New Zealand has an energised, well-organised and ready government-in-waiting.”

    True, until Labour reverted to messy factional form this week. Oh well.

    [TheStandard: A moderator moved this comment to Open Mike as being off topic or irrelevant in the post it was made in. Be more careful in future.]

    • adam 4.1

      Oh do pull your head out of your ass. Sorry for the language, but I’m over it.

      So a M.P. spoke up about her portfolio, then the bloke brigade got all upset. Left wing men had a tizzy, and we have to listen to them moan for weeks on end now. Left wing men in this country need there heads in the game, that was not disunity or messy. That was politics, so grow up.

      • NewsFlash 4.1.1


        It’s not that an MP spoke up about her portfolio, it’s about making it PUBLIC, politicians are supposed to exercise diplomacy, if this is an example of diplomacy in the political arena , then getting a change of Govt isn’t going to happen any time soon………

  4. repateet 5

    I read the Soper bit and translated it into what it really said; to whit, “Bill English is a liar.”

    I then translated that into what it really meant; to whit, “We have another lying bastard Prime Minister and it is simply accepted without saying it like it is.”


    • –Bit harsh on bill. Give him some credit as It seems he has ‘broken the ice with trump’ Herald reports a US icebreaker is on its way to nz.

    • Wayne 5.2


      How could you possibly draw that from the Soper item? More likely you are simply expressing your own pre-existing belief.

      • One Two 5.2.1

        Bill English is a liar!

        That is documented

        Then, now,forever

        It’s a big club, Wayne

      • repateet 5.2.2

        How? Start with,

        “English says notes were taken, which assumes someone was listening into the call. At one point, recalling the call as Parliament resumed, he initially said it wasn’t being eavesdropped on because it was a personal call. But then, in the next breath, he agreed someone was listening in, which would make sense if notes were being taken.”

        Most likely you are simply expressing your own pre-existing belief.

  5. Jenny Kirk 6


    This is worth listening to – Andrew Little on Morning Report today – and the need for Labour to “broaden its reach” .

  6. locus 7


    Interesting story about what data your smart TV might be collecting for its manufacurers about everything you view

  7. ianmac 8

    Brian Rudman has a column showing that Trump is not as bad as some previous administrations. Our “friends” in USA have a lot to face up to.

    “His now saintly predecessor, Barack Obama, did not just contemplate such tactics. For eight years he employed remote controlled drone gunships to hunt down suspected terrorists, blasting away at homes, villages, wedding and funeral processions and anyone unlucky enough to be in their way, across a huge swathe of the Islamic crescent, from Pakistan to Somalia. The Bureau of Investigative Journalism reported last month of 546 confirmed drone strikes against suspected terrorists in Yemen, Somalia and Pakistan under Obama.

    It calculated that between 384 and 807 civilians died in these attacks.

    • Rudman doesn’t seem to grasp the difference between the fact that committing to military action means committing to the possibility or likelihood of civilian casualties, and the fact that deliberately targeting civilians for murder is a war crime. Obama was doing the first one; Trump’s proposal to kill relatives of terrorists is the second.

      Readers who share Rudman’s difficulty with this concept should consider that the British killed a large number of French civilians while getting the Germans out of Caen in 1944, mostly by carpet-bombing the place, while Einsatzgruppe A killed a large number of Lithuanian civilians while getting the Jews out of Lithuania in 1941, mostly by lining them up on the edge of a pre-dug mass grave and shooting them into it. International law treats those two actions differently, for reasons that hopefully are obvious.

  8. Stunned Mullet 9

    The poor Syrian people.

    In between the mad fanatics of Isis and the many and varied foreign powers dropping bombs from above, their dictator for life continues to slaughter those who speak against him.



    • One Two 9.1

      Late and misguided of you, mullett

      That article was pulled apart, yesterday

      • Stunned Mullet 9.1.1

        Hello Moz how’s the weather over in Northcote.

        • Morrissey

          Sorry to disillusion you, my friend, but I am not “One Two” and he/she is not me.

          And the weather’s always wonderful in Northcote Point, thanks.

  9. chris73 10


    So Little backs down and now looks weak, not sure who wins (apart from National) out of this

    • BM 10.1

      He certainly deserves an F for this effort, all he seems to have done is piss everyone off.

      Definitely not one of hs better plays.

      • Poission 10.1.1

        This election is brought to you (and will be contested about) by the letter I

        1 Immigration

        2 Interest rates

        3 IYI’S

    • BM 10.2

      Just saw this on the daily blog

      Labour’s Poto Williams hired a private public relations firm to craft her statement on Willie Jackson joining the party.

      Christchurch-based Inform PR sent out a statement from Ms Williams condemning her leader Andrew Little’s decision to welcome Mr Jackson into the Labour fold.


      Wow, bit of an understatement here, but that’s not good.

      • McFlock 10.2.1

        Could be worse. Could have hired Lusk lol

      • Ovid 10.2.2

        Crikey. This moves from an impassioned critique to something more planned and deliberate. There’s a process to follow in selecting list candidates. Williams should have addressed her concerns to the committee that determines list selection.

        I just thought Labour had got past disunity and airing dirty laundry.

      • Paul 10.2.3

        If that’s true, it’s a sackable offence.

    • lprent 10.3

      Huh? They always do. Cabinet level MPs do in every party list I have ever looked at.

      You appear to have gotten your head in some kind of theoretical stupidity. Perhaps you should try real life some time.

      • Real life? I dunno man, in real life if working stiffs like the rest of us disagree with our boss, hiring a PR company to help us undermine them with social media postings instead of dealing with the outcome of their decision invariably gets us fired. I know some will say that a political party is not a regular company, but the point quite clearly stands when you’re talking about someone who is out to represent us cog-in-the-wheel 99%ers on a political level.

        It looks really out of touch with what we get to do or how we get to deal with what life hands us. If we get consulted on change, but the boss’ final decision doesn’t deliver 100% of what we wanted, we either deal or leave. I don’t think it’s unrealistic to ask the same of those who purport to represent our interest as ‘Labour’. What’s the point of having a leader if you get to choose when it is or isn’t important to back their decisions – decisions which we now know were arrived at *after* consultation? I’ve been a cleaner. I’ve been a chef. I’ve been a storeman. I’ve worked in a number of roles in commercial research. If at any time I’m asked to do work which goes against what I feel is a principle I hold, I weigh that against what it would mean to leave – my principles vs my rent (or these days, my mortgage); my principles vs how my family will be affected, or how my bills will be paid. I don’t get to have it both ways, and neither do most of us working stiffs. I resent the idea that politicians should get to have it different to the rest of us.

        • McFlock

          That’s called “wage slavery”, fwiw.

          But the thing is that Little is the caucus leader. He doesn’t sign mp pay cheques. He can’t overrule party democratic processes by pre-empting list selection. He was elected leader by the same organisation that organises list selection.

          Williams represents Christchurch East. Her role in the caucus follows from her experiences in social services.

          Little is not her “boss”. He’s the caucus leader, not a dictator. Consultation does not mean that you have to consent to the outcome. Yes, this causus difficulty, mainly because he failed to lead before this was all publicly announced.

          Worst case scenario, Little sends her to the back bench. That’s the worst he can do as leader. The best he can do is to somehow build this incident into a learning experience and a point of strength.

          • Cemetery Jones

            Yes yes, I see what you are saying about how the Labour party works – but my post was about looking beyond that to how it compares to those of us out here in that ‘real world’ cited by LP above. And how it looks to us when people purporting to represent us act like you can spit the dummy if you don’t get 100% of the outcomes you want. We can condescendingly call it ‘wage slavery’, but for us 99%ers, that’s what we live with – a ‘real world’ where principles and consequences can often not balance, and where our choices in those instances are deal or quit. We know she was consulted by her leader, and we know that his final decision was not what she wanted. So she hired a PR company to sabotage his decision. I don’t care what Labour’s rules are, Labour are representing people who don’t get to do that in these circumstances. And when you have politicians who get to do things we don’t, they aren’t going to be in the right mentality to represent us. Again, what’s the point of having a leader if nobody in caucus thinks you get to choose when you abide by their decisions or trust their strategy?

            • McFlock

              Well, firstly I don’t think it’s fair to portray the issue as not getting 100% of what you want. WJ’s comments were pretty objectionable. Regardless of Little’s decision, he should have known that someone prominent was going to be pissed – and if he were a better leader, he would have recognised the strength of feeling from some in his own caucus.

              She allegedly hired a pr company. We don’t know whether this was a regular relationship that a public figure might have to maintain a consistent image, or whether it was specifically for this job. We don’t know whether the job was to harm Labour or Little, or act as advisor on how to moderate the conflict between minimising the damage to the party and to Little, while at the same time expressing the sentiments that she felt obliged to express.

              What if Little decided that Labour was no longer for a nuclear free NZ? Or arbitrarily announced that Shane Jones was back as as an MP, or even David Garrett?

              Labour are representing employees, who don’t have the same freedom as MPs. MPs can talk about anyone they want in the House without fear of being sued, for example.

              But let me put it this way: which would be the biggest flaw in the Labour party: the argument we’re having now, or the argument we don’t have because the Labour spokesperson on domestic violence refuses to speak out when the party leader announces he’s parachuting to the upper reaches of the list someone who recently called rape “mischief”? The first is when the leader screws up but someone else does their job. The second is when they both fail to do their job.

              • That final point might be relevant if Jackson had refused to acknowledge that he was out of line or had refused to confront how bone-headed it was, but we know that Jackson apologised, and we’ve heard that he also put in extra time with the community. I’ve heard some claim it’s a Clayton’s apology, but ultimately the tone of these comments suggest that they aren’t interested in his apology. Do you assert that he cannot be redeemed? Is that the position you’d like the Labour spokesperson on domestic violence to take? He’s not exactly Tony fucking Veitch.

                You still bring it back to this idea: Williams was “expressing the sentiments that she felt obliged to express.” On social media. In the middle of Waitangi weekend media coverage. Again, us 99%ers don’t get to do this kind of thing when we disagree with leaders’ strategy – we are obliged to make other decisions. But our would-be representatives in politics feel obliged to enjoy other luxuries which we don’t get.

                “What if Little decided that Labour was no longer for a nuclear free NZ? Or arbitrarily announced that Shane Jones was back as as an MP, or even David Garrett?”

                We’re not talking about that though, are we. Also, you say “arbitrarily announced”; we know that he didn’t arbitrarily announce it. He consulted her – presumably in his capacity as *leader*. But his decision wasn’t the one she wanted, so she got her PR firm to craft her a social media campaign to undermine his decision, which the press is now gleefully holding up as evidence that Labour’s recovery is a sham. Bravo.

                Hey look, I can understand why you find it justified – I’m not saying you don’t make valid points in the context of politics and what Labour MPs are entitled to do. You probably know far more than me about this stuff. But can you understand how terrible it looks to working people who don’t get to make choices like that without dire consequences for their personal working lives, their mortgage or rent, their CC, their family life? And how undesirable it might be to us to see them carrying on like that and doing so much damage? It just doesn’t come across as the work of a smart operator in the political arena, let alone one with an eye for what ordinary people go through, what our ‘real world’ works like.

                • McFlock

                  Firstly, I’m a working person, and I know how it looks to me.

                  Secondly, no I’m not overly interested in a Clayton’s apology. If you follow “sorry” with “out of context”, “devil’s advocate”, or just saying you took it too casually, it’s not an apology, is it? Apology followed by minimisation or excuse is not an apology.

                  No, he’s not Tony Veitch. However, he still hasn’t indicated that he knows why saying girls shouldn’t drink should never be part of a discussion about rape, nor does the age at which someone first consents to sex have anything to do with the topic of rape. If he doesn’t get why it’s a problem, how will he avoid doing it again?

                  If Little “consulted” caucus and then ignored serious and significant concerns from caucus members, it wasn’t really “consultation”, was it.

                  • “If Little “consulted” caucus and then ignored serious and significant concerns from caucus members, it wasn’t really “consultation”, was it.”

                    Taking someone’s concerns into account during your decision making process, but nonetheless deciding that your final decision won’t go the way they wanted it doesn’t automatically amount to ‘ignoring’ them. Not consulting them in the first place is ignoring them. It’s perfectly reasonable to weigh up both sides of the argument and stick with one over the other without the other being ‘ignored’. And this is the concern I have about the response.

                    As a working person yourself, you’ll be aware that when this happens in our lives, we don’t get to respond to such situations by laying into our bosses on social media and have it go well for us. MPs doing so in their capacity as the representatives of ‘Labour’ is a bloody terrible look.

                    • McFlock

                      Again, Little isn’t Williams’ boss.

                      If Little had truly consulted everybody, then the strength of Williams’ concerns wouldn’t have been a surprise to him. Or Jackson.

                      And yet it seems to have taken both of them on the back foot.

                    • Bill

                      I stayed away from all this shit and was going to stay ‘staying away’. But…

                      Any org. running on human interactions and ‘common cause’ has to have bars set. Sometimes the idea will be to default to the highest common denominator (principle) and other times the lowest (ie – most accommodating)

                      This was clearly a time when the highest denominator should have been defaulted to.


                      1. What the fuck are Labour playing at still parachuting people into positions? It’s bullshit.

                      2. Why are there suggestions that Labour should have been secretive about their disagreements? Whatever happened to the idea of transparency?

                      Anyway, if a political party can’t even set up what I’d have thought to be a pretty fucking basic component of internal organisational culture, then…ah fuck it Labour died to me a while back and the smell just sometimes gets higher on the wind is all.

                    • McFlock:

                      “Again, Little isn’t Williams’ boss.

                      If Little had truly consulted everybody, then the strength of Williams’ concerns wouldn’t have been a surprise to him. Or Jackson.

                      And yet it seems to have taken both of them on the back foot.”

                      He’s the party leader. If that doesn’t count for anything, why have one? And what does ‘truly consulted everybody’ really mean? As covered previously, being consulted =/= getting everything you want. I would suggest Little was on the back foot because he foolishly expected a spokesperson who owes their appointment to his leadership to abide by their leader’s decision, only to find that they instead hired a PR company to ratfuck him on Waitangi Day.

                    • lprent

                      Yeah, well I don’t know who was consulted. But I could have told them that this was exactly what would have happened. A lot of Labour activists have said pretty much the same thing.

                      Just think about how many ways that this was going to annoy people inside Labour.

                      1. Parachuting candidates in without going through the selection process is just outright daft. It was a problem with both the selection of Shearer and with Shearer’s attempts to repeat the same for others. To date I can’t actually think of many times when it has worked successfully on the left. And I can count only a few cases where I think it worked at all in NZ.

                      2. Willie comes in with a lot of baggage. The Roastbusters debacle was just the most recent. Which is what the union FB yesterday demonstrated.

                      3. It appears to have been done to get two audiences. Auckland Moari and whoever listened to his show at Radio Live. The latter is probably pretty small and there seem to be quite a lot of Maori who don’t seem to like him.

                      4. There are some quite large constituencies that a list position could serve.

                      5. Offhand, I don’t know of any skills that he would have brought to the job of being an MP. Sure being able to speak is an important skill. Being able to speak with a clear and reasoned judgement is an even more important skill.

                      For me the Roastbusters interview only a few years ago makes me wonder if Willie is up for the job. That in my opinion showed a clear level of misogynist bigotry that would be hard to sell to one of the larger constituencies around – and it was going to be raised. And it was done when he was a grown man, had already been a MP, and presumably as part of his duties in that role would have seen the social and personal problems that the types of things that he and John T were sprouting off about brings.

                      In my view, he isn’t a candidate that was worth putting up.

                      Oh and BTW: Andrew Little isn’t the “party leader”. That is Nigel Haworth, the president. Andrew Little is the leader of Labour’s parliamentary caucus. It is a role with some pretty specific responsibilities. He is also a member of the Labour Council. You really do need to learn some of this

                    • McFlock

                      And what does ‘truly consulted everybody’ really mean? As covered previously, being consulted =/= getting everything you want.

                      Very true.
                      “Truly consulted everybody” means that you end up with an understanding of the depth of feeling people have about an issue.
                      We’re not talking about a petulant child not getting dessert, we’re talking about a caucus member concerned that a parachuted politician has character flaws that completely invalidate his capabilities of acting as an MP for the Labour party. At the very least, Little should have expected his grand plan to be a massive headache.

                      I would suggest Little was on the back foot because he foolishly expected a spokesperson who owes their appointment to his leadership to abide by their leader’s decision, only to find that they instead hired a PR company to ratfuck him on Waitangi Day.

                      If that is the case, he failed to consult thoroughly.
                      Especially as it’s not even his decision to make.

                      Williams hiring a pr company, if true, only says that she chose to save the Labour party pr crew a massive conflict of interest: oppose an MP fulfilling their remit, or oppose a caucus leader exceeding his authority.

                      The complaint Williams made is clear, specific, and reasonable.
                      The only thing that “ratfucks” Little as leader would be digging in and declaring Williams persona non grata for saying something it was her job to say and reflects the opinions of many members.

                      Alternatively, he could clarify that it’s all up to the selection process and let shit cool down as the process takes its course. And if Jackson still is minimising and treating the issue as a farce and still gets selected, Little can cross that bridge when he comes to it.

            • lprent

              Probably I don’t live in the type of world that you do. I work in one that doesn’t involve me being any kind of a slave.

              Sure my bosses can fire me if they want to lose my skills. It has only ever happened a couple of times when month-by-month contracts weren’t renewed. That is the nature of contract work. Something that I have done for less than 2 years of my working life, each time to raise my skill levels.

              I have walked away from several jobs when either I thought that the project I was working on was finished, or where my employers wanted me to move on to things that I didn’t want to do. I’m always keenly aware of my responsibilities in a job, and what I was employed to do.

              By the sound of it, so is Poto Williams. Both as a representative of her electorate, and in the role she does as a spokesperson for Labour. She appears to have acted well within what she was employed to do and appears to have done it admirably. As McFlock points out further up, she isn’t employed by Andrew Little

              I’d suggest that you should look to yourself about why you feel so trapped in your ‘real life’. What you are describing is something that I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy, and I’d suggest that you join a union to do something about fixing the situation.

              BTW: Just as background. The Standard isn’t paid work. It is something that I do in my unpaid time. Just as I have helped various community organisations over the years including the NZLP. I do those because I think that they are worth supporting. In the same way that I support members of my extended family.

              • I don’t feel trapped, I feel aware of there being rules I have to abide by, one of which remains that in most normal jobs, it’s not ‘feeling trapped’ to know that if you disagree with your superiors, attacking them on social media doesn’t go well for you. Only a couple of times in all those years have I faced that choice. Once, I dealt with it by leaving despite the stress it caused – I put my money where my mouth was. The other time, I sucked it up and got on with it, letting time itself prove me right. Thing is, I think you’re more than smart enough to understand that perfectly well – are you just sledging me here? It seems a rather passive aggressive way to debate with someone.

                “Probably I don’t live in the type of world that you do. I work in one that doesn’t involve me being any kind of a slave.

                Sure my bosses can fire me if they want to lose my skills. It has only ever happened a couple of times when month-by-month contracts weren’t renewed. That is the nature of contract work. Something that I have done for less than 2 years of my working life, each time to raise my skill levels.”

                Ah, the slave argument again. I’m sorry man, but this sounds to me like something that libertarians would say to people campaigning for a living wage. If you think that most ordinary people who live in a real world where undermining your superiors on social media ends with getting fired is being a ‘slave’, I think you need to reconnect with working people. Most of us consider it quite logical that you’d get fired for doing that. It’s not a question of arguing that it’s unfair we don’t get to do it; it’s a question of arguing that it’s unfair that MPs think that’s an acceptable thing to do when purporting to represent us.

                (edited for muddled final sentence)

                • Leftie

                  Well said Cemetery Jones!!! Hundreds and thousands of +1’s on every comment you made in that discussion.

                  • lprent

                    You are as ignorant as Cemetery Jones…

                    Open Mike 08/02/2017

                    • I might be ignorant of how the Labour party works, but I get no joy from insulting people for not being an expert at the things I’ve chosen to be an expert at. I’m not a drone, but I believe that if you can’t follow your leader when the going gets tough then you’ll lose every time – I found this just playing football as a kid. Seems to me it’s true anywhere else. I might not be right about how authority works in the Labour party, but that was never my point. It’s how it looks to those of us outside of it who have that impression that ‘leader’ means that you’re in charge.

                    • lprent

                      Ah the ritual whining…. I was wondering when we would get to that typical trollish run-away. After decades around the nets it becomes so so predicable.

                      I have no particular interest in explaining the basics of how every political party in parliament in this country operates. With the exception of the micro parties they all have very similar structures.

                      I am also not that much into blindly following leaders either. In fact I have strong track record over decades of telling them when I think that they are treading on dangerous ground. That applies just as much in business as it does in politics or the military. I don’t expect them to take my advice. I do expect them to listen and take note.

                      My criteria of someone that is a competent leader is that they can do exactly that. Because there are few people who are particularly competent across wide ranges of expertise.

                      On the nets I am wont to dispurse advice and education about things that I know. When a gentle hint doesn’t get through… well when I meet someone acting like dumb ox trying to batter down a gate and closing their ears whilst doing it, I find that lacing these with some sarcastic reflections of how they appear to me usually makes the lesson penetrate their obsessional stupidity.

                      This helps me in any subsequent interaction. Because I then don’t have to explain that is what I am likely to do again. The lesson is usually as memorable as your whining indicates it was today.

                    • Leftie

                      You can think what you like, I still agree with Cemetery Jones and Newsflash.

                    • That’s cool, I’m not asking you to educate me on the internal workings of all the parliamentary parties. I just believe that MPs claiming to represent working people should be a little more in tune with them and not go around doing things that to us would be career ending.

                      “when I meet someone acting like dumb ox trying to batter down a gate and closing their ears whilst doing it, I find that lacing these with some sarcastic reflections of how they appear to me usually makes the lesson penetrate their obsessional stupidity.”

                      I don’t think there’s anything dumb about expecting Labour MPs to think a little about how it looks when you hire a PR firm to attack the party leader.

                      “This helps me in any subsequent interaction. Because I then don’t have to explain that is what I am likely to do again. The lesson is usually as memorable as your whining indicates it was today.”

                      Whining? I’ve got to be honest, that paragraph and the previous one sounds a bit pompous man. You’re saying that you taught me a lesson? I guess I learned that you can know an awful lot about the Labour party while not really getting what their voters expect from the people who presume to represent them, but I dunno if that’s something to be stoked about. It just seems a bit nihilistic.

                • NewsFlash

                  Cemetery Jones

                  I understand your argument and agree with it, my biggest concern is the public spat created from the issue, one made public deliberately through a PR company, a show of unity is paramount at this stage of the election year. If members have concerns about any issue, they should be dealing with it behind closed doors, there is no excuse for unsolicited disagreements find there way into the public domain. Let history show time and time again, that if you want to air your dirty laundry in the public domain as a political party hoping to be elected in the near future, your chances are going to be severely curbed, many a good political party has failed to reach the finish line because of the lack of discipline and unity, not because they didn’t have the right policies or candidates.

                • lprent

                  FFS The point is that you don’t understand the rules that Poto has to abide by. Clearly she does. One of the most specific things that everyone should do is to understand exactly under what conditions they work in.

                  And if you want to comment on someone else’s working situation like you are waffling on about, then you should get off your arse and learn about it BEFORE acting like a ignorant dork.

                  I dunno man, in real life if working stiffs like the rest of us disagree with our boss…

                  Andrew Little isn’t Poto Williams boss. He is a colleague acting in a different role – that of caucus leader. He doesn’t pay her, he doesn’t hold her employment contract, and he has very limited authority over her. Sure there is a political party involved who nominated her for the position. But she isn’t employed by them either.

                  She is employed by parliamentary services acting on behalf of the people who elected her. Directly in her case from her electorate. In the case of a list MP that would be the voters who voted for the party.

                  Now she can be removed from the position of being spokesperson by Andrew Little. She can be dropped from the party by the Labour party council. Those are actions that either of them could do. I am pretty sure that Poto would have calculated that

                  However neither are who she is employed by and who she is responsible to. She is a representative of the electorate who voted her in.

                  So why are you trying to say that Andrew Little is her boss?

                  • You’re relying on technicalities to avoid addressing my point. And you need to use insults to make your point? I didn’t need to insult you, or to insult McFlock, even though I find your reasoning way off the mark.

                    Public perception matters big league. To us out there who are not versed in the minutae of party rules, the party leader is seen as being the boss. It might not be technically true, but I simply cannot believe that someone as knowledgeable as yourself would be unaware that this is how the public perceive the role to work, and that when MPs buck the party leader, that’s how it tends to be read.

                    We’re looking to Andrew Little as a potential prime minister. If he can’t just once in a while make a call and have it followed by his team, what kind of PM is he going to make? A bad one in most people’s book. We’re not asking him to be some kind of tinpot dictator, or for that to be the way he handles day-to-day decisionmaking. But if his team won’t abide when he makes a call which he has consulted them on, negotiated with them, and delivered a judgment that while he understands their concerns, this time he’s not for turning. That’s actually a sign of leadership to most of us. And as for Williams, yeah you know what? Most ordinary people are happy when consulted by our managers (can I say managers instead of bosses to avoid being insulted?), even if they don’t go with what we wanted. And be they managers, or be they bosses, or be they whatever a ‘caucus leader’ would be in a normal job, there’s just nowhere out there in voter land where you’re gonna find them being cool with you slagging off their decisions on social media.

                    Now, I feel like this is something I spoke with McFlock about but I understand these are two conversations, but to reiterate what I discussed with him, I don’t doubt that what you say is correct in the strictest terms of what goes in the Labour party, but surely you can see how we’d like to see Labour MPs having a bit of regard for what the rest of us go through in our daily lives and what would be appropriate for us? Let’s say Little is just a colleague for Williams. Most contracts these days have a clause about bringing your employer into disrepute, and I’m pretty sure that slagging off a coworker about things they’ve done in the workplace on social media would get you in trouble even if they weren’t your manager. That’s real life to us.

                    • Macro

                      We’re looking to Andrew Little as a potential prime minister. If he can’t just once in a while make a call and have it followed by his team, what kind of PM is he going to make?

                      Let’s just examine that statement a little.
                      I think you will agree that if the Government is to change.. then it won’t just be Labour that form the Government. It is likely at the very least to include the Greens and dare I say it – NZF.
                      Little – if he is to be PM is going to have to collaborate not only with his Labour MPs, but also with two other parties.
                      The Greens, I can assure you, take the issue with regards to sexual abuse and the denigration of women very seriously:
                      Two of the core principles of the Green Party are:

                      Appropriate Decision-making:
                      For the implementation of ecological wisdom and social responsibility, decisions will be made directly at the appropriate level by those affected.
                      Non-violent conflict resolution is the process by which ecological wisdom, social responsibility and appropriate decision making will be implemented. This principle applies at all levels.

                      So I’m sorry – If Little is not going to split the Government within his first week of Premiership, then he will have to learn a bit more about negotiation, and collaboration, and give a bit more respect to the opinions of his colleagues.

                    • lprent

                      I have explained up above about what I use insults. It helps make the point and reduces the amount of effort I have to expend in future interactions.

                      Can I also point out that you don’t make the rules about behaviour on this site. That is generally considered to be one of my roles. I wrote the manual on it.

                      Technicalities are the lifeblood of any argument for anyone who is actually interested in what they are waffling about. However I will accept that you don’t seem to want to know them. I envisage that in your political life you may be as unsuccessful as Donald Trump is at his getting his immigrant ban working. He also seemed to have skipped a few technicalities and got reamed by the courts for doing so.

                      Most contracts these days have a clause about bringing your employer into disrepute, and I’m pretty sure that slagging off a coworker about things they’ve done in the workplace on social media would get you in trouble even if they weren’t your manager. That’s real life to us.

                      Indeed. However as was pointed out many times repetitively over and over again. Andrew Little was not her employer, does not hold a contract with Poto Williams, and if there was such a clause ina code of conduct or the like then it would stand directly in the way of Poto Williams obligations to her real employers – the people who voted for her. That is a completely fatuous argument.

                      This is the case for EVERY MP in parliament. So your weak pleas to ignorance tend to indicate that you really should learn something about basic politics before waving your two inch troll dick around pretending that it is at least 10 inches.

                      We’re looking to Andrew Little as a potential prime minister. If he can’t just once in a while make a call and have it followed by his team…

                      I believe that you are managing to miss a vital point here. There are processes that any manager has to follow. If someone goes off and tries to coop or bypass me in my role without my permission and outside the bounds of the process, then they will have to show an immediate and justifiable cause or they will get a severe bollocking.

                      It sounds to me like you have a simple minded approach to working with and for other people. Which leads us back to McFlocks point about you acting like a simple wage slave. Or an adolescent in a sports team. Not very mature either way.

                  • Well, it seems to me that you’re aggressively defending the notion that MPs shouldn’t have to be sensitive to how their activities look to voters. Good luck to them (and to you in defending them, I might add; if the Labour caucus is going to start acting like this again, then anyone who takes that job on is going to have a very busy 2017).

                    It’s interesting that you are so offended by me being ‘immature’ in demanding this, but you are not offended by politicians being demonstrably immature with their ill-disciplined, poorly timed, and counter productive social media behaviour. It’s like some of these folks have PhDs in losing.

                    Also, when I wrote what I thought was a reasonable observation about our different approaches to the topic:

                    “And you need to use insults to make your point? I didn’t need to insult you, or to insult McFlock, even though I find your reasoning way off the mark.”

                    You wrote back:

                    “Can I also point out that you don’t make the rules about behaviour on this site. That is generally considered to be one of my roles. I wrote the manual on it.”

                    For someone who accuses other people of being immature, I dunno where to start on that one. Tried a couple times but, just, no.

                    • McFlock

                      I think that the very fact we’re having these discussions demonstrates that ‘how it looks to voters’ is not exactly clear-cut.

                      Maybe Little should have made the same consideration, alongside asking “do I have the constitutional authority to make and announce this deal?” and “should I listen just a little bit harder to what people are saying to me as I consult caucus about this proposal?”

                    • Antoine

                      Dude, Lynn knows he’s being annoying and he’s not going to change. This is not an argument you are going to win. Nor would it be particularly helpful even if you did, Lynn doesn’t work for the Labour Party and doesn’t have any particular influence over them as far as I’m aware.


                    • lprent []

                      Nope. I was briefly a branch chair for Sandringham back in the early 90s.

                      Being annoying, memorable, and being accurate about facts and downstream consequences far more often than not is my lever. It also takes a lot less time than spending loads of times in meetings or extended discussions.

                      And I get to hear the best of what others are capable of when they rise to the occasion. CJ however tends to remind me of the CJ from the Reginald Perrin books. Paraphrasing… I didn’the get where I am today by listening!!

                    • lprent []

                      Nope. I was briefly a branch chair for Sandringham back in the early 90s.

                      Being annoying, memorable, and being accurate about facts and downstream consequences far more often than not is my lever. It also takes a lot less time than spending loads of times in meetings or extended discussions.

                      And I get to hear the best of what others are capable of when they rise to the occasion. CJ however tends to remind me of the CJ from the Reginald Perrin books. Paraphrasing… I didn’the get where I am today by listening or thinking!!

                    • lprent

                      Nope. What I am mostly pointing is that almost everything you are saying is incorrect. It is based largely on how you think that the world should operate with the type of leadership style that really should have beckme obsolete in the trenches a 100 years ago.

                      What I am referrong to is how the rules actually operate or who management, political or otherwise, actually works in modern times. This particular case is pretty interesting because Poto Williams did exactly what the party and the caucus requires her to do in her roles for them.

                      I don’t mind needling to ensure that I am getting through. In fact I find it to be kind of amusing seeing if certain types of commenters can in fact get beyond their inflexible thinking habits of a lifetime.

                      Take it as a compliment. I usually don’t bother because of my lack of time. Speaking of which. I had better head off to work.

                    • Thanks Antoine, I’m definitely not conflating LP with the Labour Party – but it’s a debate where I’ve questioned their actions, and he has defended them, as is his right and mine.

                      LP, I won’t say any more than the items below – it’s your site etc.

                      “CJ however tends to remind me of the CJ from the Reginald Perrin books. Paraphrasing… I didn’the get where I am today by listening or thinking!!”

                      For a guy who claims to think so little of the points I made, it’s interesting how little you engaged with them in this debate, except for where you could selectively use details of inner party processes to argue that you don’t have to. This despite the fact that I was talking about how it looks to the public rather than how it works in private. You’ve studiously avoided engaging with the issue of how things look to the public and focused pretty much exclusively on what’s ok within the party – as if much of the public knows or cares when the news just covers an MP defying the leader in a party which is known for that but seeking to say it’s changed.

                      So yeah, disappointing on that score. I’ve overlooked the insulting tone which I felt was designed to troll me and not taken the bait by returning serve – but I won’t attempt to rewrite your site rules! I guess the ‘lesson’ I’ll be taking away isn’t the one you intended to impart. I’ll remember contrasts really; the pompous tone of the comments, the condescension immense not just in and of itself, but in equally immense contrast with the studious avoidance of discussing what I argued was the matter at hand – how bad this looks to much of the public. I can only hope that the Labour party themselves don’t make the same mistake, or we’re destined for 3 more years of National.

                      Thanks for providing the platform, in any case. I can see I reached a couple people who feel the same as me.

                    • Conal

                      I guess the ‘lesson’ I’ll be taking away isn’t the one you intended to impart. I’ll remember contrasts really; the pompous tone of the comments, the condescension immense not just in and of itself, but in equally immense contrast with the studious avoidance of discussing …

                      That conceitedness and abusiveness are lprent’s trademark behaviour. He patronisingly thinks he’s teaching people a lesson by abusing them, but as you say, the lesson people learn is not the one he thinks he’s imparting. The lesson I take from it is that it’s not worth trying to discuss things with him because he’s too arrogant to consider other points of view, and his hyper-aggression is a form of trolling to shut down discussion.

                      It’s possible to avoid him, but still, it must be harmful to the culture of the Standard to have a sysop with anger management issues and an inflated sense of the superiority of his own opinions. Is this kind of macho bullying style a factor in the well-known gender imbalance of the site?

                    • lprent []

                      Did I care? You appear to miss the point. As far as I am concerned this is an alternate way of moderating.

                      What I am concerned with is that I don’t have my attention attracted by people acting like fools. The best way of making sure that happens is for the foolish to not want to attract my attention. If I have time, I prefer to treat a fool like a fool. It is more effective than the other techniques I could use.

                  • Ovid

                    For the record, Williams would be bound by the Labour Caucus Rules – no idea what those comprise of, but if they apply it would be an avenue of discipline.

                    • lprent

                      Yes. That is probably why she made a point of pointing out that what she did actually falls under her portfolio and therefore under her responsibilities to caucus. This was hardly reputable, and curiously, seems to have been largely unexamined by the commenters.

                      Think through what a probable caucus rule set would say about that.

    • Leftie 10.4

      I read the article, and disagree with you, and he was still talking of a “winnable list placing” which is what he spoke of before. But remember, Willie Jackson still has a process to go through first.

  10. Tautoko Mangō Mata 11

    “The FBI’s Secret Rules

    President Trump has inherited a vast domestic intelligence agency with extraordinary secret powers. A cache of documents offers a rare window into the FBI’s quiet expansion since 9/11.”

  11. stever 12

    Joyce says

    “We remain committed to reducing the tax burden on lower and middle-income earners when we have the room to do so”


    So, is he implying that high-income people will not get cuts?

    And if so, what is a plausible mechanism for this to happen? (I.e. lower- and middle-income earners have their tax burden eased, and higher-income earners do not.)

    Can’t change rates down or brackets up, since everyone gets less tax from those.

    Or is he just not telling the whole story, and of course everyone will get cuts?

  12. tc 13

    I see basic fact checking still on holiday with stuff reporting on the Waikato river death stating that mercury energy opened its dam gates.

    It’s mighty river power, the generator, who own mercury, a retailer, who opened the gates.

  13. Cinny 14

    Tuned into Parliament.

    Just heard the outgoing deputy PM address the nation for the start of the year.

    Paula spent 10 minutes gossiping about Labour. You know the type, a gossip, stirrer, bully. What a disgusting display it was, mutton as.

    Obviously she is not too bright, a better use of time would be to talk up her own party.
    But she didn’t, the outgoing deputy PM seems to have no ideas, no solutions, nothing nada.

    And I don’t want to sound shallow, but by crikey she’s a big lass.

    Is that all she does, gossip when given time to speak to the NZ public in Parliament? What a waste of tax payer money she is.

    • NewsFlash 15.1

      It’s just another opinion.

      And here’s another one.

      It reminds me of the story of a guy who was jailed for stealing to support himself, years after he had served his time, the stigma still hung around, even though he had paid his debt to society in full, and learnt the lesson attached to it.

  14. Paul 16

    Still can’t see why I was banned.

    [lprent: I don’t like losing moderators. Having a fool attacking my moderators tends to piss me off.

    But you aren’t banned because you didn’t quite quite drop over the bounds. Since the last comments I looked at last night from you were praising TDB. I thought of an appropriate warning that would serve a dual purpose.

    All your comments are now subject to automatic moderation and release when a moderator feels like it. That is because you appear to have been ignoring gentle warnings from moderators about thinking before pressing submit.

    And just think about how privileged you now are. You are now the only person on this site who can operate as if you are on TDB. Doesn’t that make you feel excited 😈 ]

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